Major Topics in Philosophy at Erratic Impact's Philosophy Research Base
Erratic Impact
Philosophy of Religion
Philosophy of Science

African Philosophy
Alternative Philosophy
Anthropic Reasoning
Artificial Intelligence
British Philosophy
Contemporary Issues
Cultural Studies
Death and Dying
Ethnic Studies
Gender Studies
History of Philosophy
Human Nature
Human Rights
Indian Philosophy
Islamic Philosophy
Jewish Philosophy
Native American
Non-western Phil.
Philosophical Humor
Philosophical Isms
Philosophy Children
Philosophy Education
Philosophy History
Philosophy Language
Philosophy Law
Philosophy Love
Philosophy Math
Philosophy Mind
Philosophy Quotations
Philosophy Religion
Philosophy Science
Philosophy Sport
Popular Philosophy
Social Anthropology
More Topics...
Philosophy Subjects
Philosophy Books
Book Series
Used Books
History of Philosophy
CFP Deadlines
Search This Site
Search The Web
Site Index
Philosophy Webs
19th Century
20th Century
Major Topics
Queer Theory
Utilities and Services
What's New!
Call for Papers
Free Email Accounts
Check Your Mail
Writing Philosophy
Teaching Philosophy
Philosophy Web Ring
Philosophy Awards
Awards We've Won
About the PRB
Erratic Impact

Join the Free Newsletter

Cretor and the Cosmos

The Creator and the Cosmos : How the Greatest Scientific Discoveries of the Century Reveal God
by Hugh, Ph.D. Ross

Timeless Reality : Symmetry, Simplicity, and Multiple Universes

Timeless Reality : Symmetry, Simplicity, and Multiple Universes
by Victor J. Stenger

Anthropic Reasoning

bulletOnline Resources
bulletTexts:  Anthropic Reasoning
bulletUsed Books:  Anthropic Reasoning 
bulletKnow of a Resource?


Navigation:  Email, Home, Search, Index
Go Back!

God : The Evidence : The Reconciliation of Faith and Reason in a Post-Secular World

The Anthropic Cosmological PrincipleThe Anthropic Cosmological Principle by John D. Barrow, Frank J. Tipler

Ever since Copernicus, scientists have continually adjusted their view of human nature, moving it further and further from its ancient position at the center of Creation. But in recent years, a startling new concept has evolved that places it more firmly than ever in a special position. Known as the Anthropic Cosmological Principle, this collection of ideas holds that the existence of intelligent observers determines the fundamental structure of the Universe. In its most radical version, the Anthropic Principle asserts that "intelligent information-processing must come into existence in the Universe, and once it comes into existence, it will never die out."

This wide-ranging and detailed book explores the many ramifications of the Anthropic Cosmological Principle, covering the whole spectrum of human inquiry from Aristotle to Z bosons. Bringing a unique combination of skills and knowledge to the subject, John D. Barrow and Frank J. Tipler--two of the world's leading cosmologists--cover the definition and nature of life, the search for extraterrestrial intelligence, and the interpretation of the quantum theory in relation to the existence of observers. The book will be of vital interest to philosophers, theologians, mathematicians, scientists, and historians, as well as to anyone concerned with the connection between the vastness of the universe of stars and galaxies and the existence of life within it on a small planet out in the suburbs of the Milky Way.

Hi!Click here for more information on this book
Hi!Click here for more Philosophy Books

Nick Bostrom

Research papers, overviews, and other resources for the philosophy of cosmology, anthropic reasoning, observational selection effects, and the philosophy of evolution theory.  This site includes an extensive and up-to-date Bibliography.


Rarely does philosophy produce empirical predictions. The Doomsday argument is an important exception. From seemingly trivial premises it seeks to show that the risk that humankind will go extinct soon has been systematically underestimated. Nearly everybody's first reaction is that there must be something wrong with such an argument. Yet despite being subjected to intense scrutiny by a growing number of philosophers, no simple flaw in the argument has been identified...


The Anthropic Cosmological Principle and Related Issues

by Glen T. McDavid


The anthropic cosmological principle asserts that the laws, constants and basic structure of the universe are not completely arbitrary. Instead they are constrained by the requirement that they must allow for the existence of intelligent observers, ourselves...


The Anthropic Principle

We may occupy a preferred place or preferred time in the Universe (we may also occupy a preferred universe)

There are several vexing facts about the Universe:
bulletHorizon problem
bulletFlatness problem
bulletMatter/Anti-matter asymmetry
bulletCosmological constant
It appears as though we live in a special universe. Some quantities seem to be highly improbable values, for example, the flatness of the Universe is disturbing. Several questions are...


The Anthropic Principle 

By Daniel Berger

This page is a small collection of links on the Anthropic Cosmological Principle, which in its simplest form says, "We're here because we are, so there!"


The Anthropic Principle:  Life in the Universe 

By Kevin Sharpe and Jonathan Walgate


The anthropic principle, that the universe exists in some sense for life, has persisted in recent religious and scientific thought because it derives from cosmological fact. It has been unsuccessful in furthering our understanding of the world because its advocates tend to impose final metaphysical solutions onto what is a physical problem...


The Anthropic Principle:  Yet Another Version? 

From DIALOGOS:  An Interactive Journal of the Sciences, Philosophy, and Religion


One of the most startling developments to come from modern physics is that the universe, in some very fundamental way, seems to have been "designed" or "tuned" to produce life and consciousness. Actually, what physicists have discovered is that there are a large number of "coincidences" inherent in the fundamental laws and constants of nature. Every one of these coincidences or specific relationships between fundamental physical parameters is needed, or the evolution of life and consciousness as we know it could not have happened. The collection of these coincidences is an undisputed fact, and collectively, have come to be known as the "Anthropic Principle."


Cosmic Matters 

Ian Hall

There are quite a few constants in physics which have values that look to have been plucked out of thin air, seemingly with no reference to anything else. It is interesting to see how a small change in one or other of them would make life totally impossible on Earth, or anywhere else in the universe. It almost seems as though the laws of physics themselves are precisely 'tuned' so as to favor the appearance of life somewhere...


Cosmology and Theology: from the Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy

By John Leslie


Reasoning known as the cosmological argument (Burrill 1967; Craig 1979, 1980; Hepburn 1967) tries to justify belief in God by pointing to the existence of the cosmos, its causal orderliness, and alleged evidence of its being in some sense designed to include life and intelligence. [Often the appeal to such evidence is instead called the argument from design, or the teleological argument.] Some cosmologists believe, however, that the existence and order of the cosmos can be accounted for scientifically. Its life-permitting character might itself, they consider, be explained through its being divided into multiple domains worth the name of "universes". These could vary randomly in their features, ours being one of the perhaps very rare ones in which life had any chance of evolving. As the anthropic principle reminds us, only the life-permitting universes could give rise to observers. They should hesitate before concluding that an omnipotent, omniscient, all-creating person had made their surroundings life-permitting...


The Fine-tuning argument

by Theodore M. Drange


Let us consider that version of the Argument from Design which appeals to the so-called "fine-tuning" of the physical constants of the universe... 


Fundamental Issues in Cosmology

By Joseph Silk


scientist, although not necessarily the poet or the theologian, commences his study of the universe by assuming that the laws of physics which are locally measured in the laboratory have more general applicability. If experiment proves that this assumption is wrong, one then proceeds to explore generalizations of local physics. In this spirit, cosmology, the science of studies of the universe, is developed by extrapolation of locally verified laws of physics to remote locations in space and time, which can be probed with modern astronomical techniques. In a theory of cosmology, simplicity is sought on sufficiently large scales. The successful theories in physics and mathematics are invariably the simplest, with the least number of arbitrary degrees of freedom. Postulating that Titan held up the heavens (where did he come from? Why didn't he get bored? or sleepy?) requires many more ad hoc assumptions than the realization that the orbits of the planets in the gravity field of the sun suffice to stop them falling onto the earth like so many shooting stars...


Natural Explanations for the Anthropic Coincidences (PDF)

By Victor J. Stenger


The Anthropic coincidences are widely claimed to provide evidence for intelligence creation in the universe.  However, neither data nor theory support this conclusion.  No basis exists for assuming that a random universe would not have some kind of life.  Calculations of the properties of universes having different physical constants than ours indicate that long-lived stars are not unusual, and thus most universes should have time for complex systems of some type to evolve.  A multi-universe scenario is not ruled out since no known principle requires that only one universe exist...

bulletVisit Victor J. Stenger's home page for much more!
bulletClick here for books by Victor J. Stenger


Observer-Relative Changes in Anthropic Reasoning

By Nick Bostrom, Dept. of Philosophy, Logic and Scientific Method, London School of Economics


John Leslie presents a thought experiment to show that chances are sometimes observer-relative in a paradoxical way. The pivotal assumption in his argument – a version of the weak anthropic principle – is the same as the one used to get the disturbing Doomsday argument off the ground. I show that Leslie’s thought experiment trades on the sense/reference ambiguity and is fallacious. I then describe a related case where chances are observer-relative in an interesting way. But not in a paradoxical way. The result can be generalized: At least for a very wide range of cases, the weak anthropic principle does not give rise to paradoxical observer-relative chances. This finding could be taken to give new indirect support to the doomsday argument...


Time Without End:  Physics and Biology in an Open Universe

By Freeman J. Dyson Institute for Advanced Studies, Princeton New Jersey


Quantitative estimates are derived for three classes of phenomena that may occur in an open cosmological model of Friedmann type. (1) Normal physical processes taking place with very long time-scales. (2) Biological processes that will result if life adapts itself to low ambient temperatures according to a postulated scaling law. (3) Communication by radio between life forms existing in different parts of the universe. The general conlusion of the analysis is that an open universe need not evolve into a state of permanent quiescence. Life and communication can continue for ever, utilizing a finite store of energy, if the assumed scaling laws are valid...


Why are We Here?  
The Anthropic Principle and the Dangers of Teleology

By Macauley Peterson


A discussion of the Anthropic Principle and its relevance to modern cosmology. The Anthropic Principle has given rise to a resurgence in teleological views concerning the observed "fine-tuning" of the universe, that permits the existence of carbon-based life. This paper traces origins of that resurgence and maintains that the teleological viewpoint is no more valid as a consequence of the Anthropic Principle than it was before...


Click to Search

 | History | Names | Subjects | CFP | Add URL|

A service for the online network of worldwide philosophers

Up! Search Erratic Impact


Go Back!  Click Here for Books

  Powell's New and Used BooksAssociate Partnership  
Web Design Copyright © 2000 by